The Mariners announced the 2011 Tacoma Rainiers coaching staff today, and its exactly the same as it was in 2009.
Daren Brown returns for his fifth year as manager, Alonzo Powell is back for his fourth year as hitting coach, and Dwight Bernard returns as pitching coach for his fifth season after spending last year elsewhere in the system.
Brown opened last year as Rainiers manager before being promoted to Seattle on August 9. Powell opened last season as Rainiers hitting coach and was promoted to Seattle in May. Bernard was the Rainiers pitching coach from 2006 to 2009, but the Mariners asked him to work with an intriguing group of younger prospects at Class-A Clinton in 2010.
Brown will tie Dan Rohn and Dave Myers as the longest-tenured Tacoma managers, at five seasons each - although Brown missed the final 28 games of the 2010 Pacific Coast League regular season when he served as Mariners interim manager. Brown has a lifetime record of 283-264 in Tacoma – he would need to go a remarkable 92-52 in 2011 to tie Rohn as the winningest manager in Tacoma franchise history.
Brown’s Tacoma winning percentage of .517 ranks 7th among the 24 managers who have piloted Tacoma for at least one full season since the team began in 1960. Here is the complete chart, sorted by winning percentage, which includes managers who worked partial seasons:
|TACOMA MANAGERS 1960-PRESENT|
|1981-1982, 1984||Ed Nottle||Tigers||231-191||.547|
Tacoma’s 2011 complemental staff will remain the same: trainers Tom Newberg and Jeremy “Mrs. Newberg” Clipperton, performance specialist Charlie Kenyon, and clubhouse manager Eddie Romprey.
We also have a few links today:
- Larry LaRue has all of the Mariners minor league coaching staffs listed here. Of note, Jose Castro - who managed the Rainiers throughout the playoff run - will return to his original job as minor league hitting coordinator. Other highlights: former Rainiers (and major leaguers, and Pac-10 standouts) Andrew Lorraine and Mike Kinkade team up at Short Season-A Everett, former Cheney Stadium denizens Rich Dorman and Terry Pollreisz are on the Class-A Clinton staff, and the Mariners hired a whole bunch of new guys to run the Class-AA team.
- Baseball America, in its weekly Minor League Transactions post, reports that the Mariners re-signed 2010 Rainiers relief pitcher Scott Patterson. The Rainiers mid-season pickup of Patterson was one of several key turning points in the Rainiers championship season, and we would welcome him back on opening day.
- Also at Baseball America, the magazine moved into the AL West with its Top-10 prospects listings, starting with the Angels. That means the Mariners list is coming soon… you can check the Angels list for potential rivals on the Salt Lake Bees; their top prospect Mike Trout is supposedly one of the best in all of minor league baseball.
- At the Seattle Times, Geoff Baker has a blog post about the Mariners possibly trading prospects, and what it means.
- The Mariners Advanced Class-A High Desert affiliate has been sold.
- This Jerry Crasnick story on San Diego Padres pitcher Kevin Correia serves as a reminder that ballplayers are human beings, too. Correia pitched many times against Tacoma, while with Fresno from 2003 to 2005.
- Make sure you check out the Cheney Stadium construction video discussed below.
Comedy actor Leslie Nielson passed away last night. His starring role in The Naked Gun includes a segment that ESPN’s Rob Neyer called “the second most famous Mariners-Angels game of all-time.” I still crack up at that movie’s “baseball bloopers” – especially the one with the tiger; it kills me every time. But my all-time favorite baseball movie character is, predictably, Harry Doyle.